OKLAHOMA CITY - The high cost of hearing aids has kept millions of Americans with hearing loss from getting hearing aids.
Hearing aids that are sold at an audiologists office are expensive, and usually range from $1,000 to $4,000 per ear. They are often sometimes not covered by private insurance or traditional Medicare.
Last summer, President Trump signed the 'Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017' into law. This will allow people with mild to moderate hearing loss to buy hearing aids without consulting an audiologist, and the devices could sell for between $250 and $300 at drugstores.
However, it will be a couple more years before the over-the-counter hearing aids are available to consumers. In the meantime, here are tips that can help you find some affordable options:
- Check your insurance - Most private health insurance companies do not cover hearing aids, but there are some that do. Aetna members can purchase aids at a discount through certain suppliers, and United Healthcare offers discounted hearing aids to their beneficiaries through HealthInnovations. Also, some federal workers can get their hearing aids covered by health insurance. If you're a Medicare recipient, about half of all Medicare Advantage plans offer at least partial coverage or discounts.
- Shop Around - Consider shopping at Costco, where hearing aids range from $500 to $1,500 each. You can also shop online at Embrace Hearing and Audicus, and then visit a local specialist to make any necessary adjustments. You could also look for over-the-counter personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), which can be helpful to people with mild to moderate hearing impairments. They typically cost around $200 to $350 each. Visit Harris Communications for a wide variety of PSAPs.
- Look for Assistance - If your income is low, there is a number of groups that can help pay for hearing aids or offer discounts. Visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association or call the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at 800-241-1044.